Gaelic Wolf Consulting
241 Sand Road
Port Townsend, WA 98368
(360) 531-1073

Blue grouse
Blue grouse in Olympic National Park, Washington, © Norman MacLeod

Natural resource policy services

Natural resource policy is typically developed by government agency staff working from guidance provided by statutes enacted by elected officials, plus prior rule-making. Draft actions are presented for review and public comment, and may be modified as a result. Inflexible process may lead to policy that fails to meet the needs of the human environment and/or those of the natural environment.

At Gaelic Wolf Consulting, we believe that the people who live and work with the landscape and its resources must be directly involved in developing the policies that protect their ecosystems and provide the balance that allows them to continue with their day to day activities and to take advantage of new opportunities. Those who live in the affected community have a more deeply personal stake in how ecosystem functions and natural resource uses are balanced for future sustainability than do policy-makers who live elsewhere.

We prefer policy outcomes based primarily on education and incentive. Regulation of individual activities should be a rarely needed last resort.

We build teams of professionals in scientific and technical fields, local government officials, agency staff, and members of the regulated community to design natural resource policies that protect wildlife habitat and environmental quality while including productive working landscapes that support economically sound communities.

We begin by learning about the scope of the issues you are working with and how proposed revisions to or new regulations would impact your community. With your help we gather information about the underlying issues and the science being used to support the proposed solutions being brought forward. We also work with you to develop a public communications approach that will bring your community's concerns and ideas to the table.

Next, we discuss your issue with trusted scientists, attorneys, representatives of professional organizations, and others with years of hands-on experience in natural resource research, policy development, implementation, and management. Working together, we help identify a range of options that provide the levels of ecosystem protection needed, with the lightest possible regulatory burden for those who live within the affected ecosystems.

Because the quality of the science being used to justify and support evolving policies is so very important, we believe that fully independent rigorous peer review of the studies and syntheses used is essential to the process. We will help you obtain that review.

We guide your local government/stakeholder team in building policies that meet both to your community and ecosystem needs. As you work with other stakeholder groups and government staff, we assist in making your participation as fully effective as possible. The result will be a well-balanced, sensitive, and productive regulatory framework tailored to your local economic and ecosystem conditions.